273. Note From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon1

The President has already been informed of the Soviet leadership’s position on Soviet-American summit meeting including our considerations as to the preparation of such a meeting and creating the conditions which would facilitate its positive outcome. The President, no doubt, remembers the statement of the Soviet side of importance which the Soviet leadership attaches in this connection to the lessening of tension and to normalization of the situation in Europe on the basis of recognition of the territorial and political realities formed there, which in our conviction responds to the interests of all states, including the United States.

Since President Nixon has agreed with the considerations which were put forward by the Soviet leaders in connection with the prospected summit meeting,2 this relieves us of the necessity to once again state them in detail.

In Moscow has been noted that there have been lately positive movements in discussions of some questions; on the part of the U.S. representatives there is greater understanding of the situation and more realistic approach towards finding mutually acceptable solutions,—this seems to be the result of the attention which the President has begun to pay personally to these matters.

At the same time there is yet no full certainty whether agreement could be reached as soon as desired. Having this in mind and also taking into consideration that there is not much time left till September, it would obviously be more realistic to agree on some mutually acceptable time which would be closer to the end of this year—for example the end of November or in December. We agree that both sides will in fact proceed from the premises that by that time all what is necessary will be done in order to put into practice that important [Page 808] understanding between the President and the Soviet leaders which President Nixon confirmed to the Soviet Ambassador through Dr. Kissinger on June 30.3 The final time of the meeting and a date of an appropriate publication about this prospective meeting could be pinpointed additionally.

Of course in any case it is important that in anticipation of the meeting both sides would pursue in the relations between themselves and in international affairs such a course which to the maximum degree would ensure the fruitfulness of the meeting. In other words, it is necessary that both sides will allow in their activities nothing that would make the situation unfavourable for the preparation and holding of the meeting and would weaken the chances of getting positive results at such a meeting.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 7 [part 2]. No classification marking. Dobrynin forwarded the Soviet note to Kissinger on July 5 with the following handwritten message: “I am sending herewith a communication from Moscow which I am instructed to forward to you and through you to President Nixon in connection with the conversations we had on this subject.” Kissinger later recalled that Vorontsov gave Haig the Soviet note on July 5. (Kissinger, White House Years, p. 835) Dobrynin claimed, however, that he delivered the note to Haig himself. (Dobrynin, In Confidence, p. 225) According to Haig (see Document 275), Vorontsov (“our friend”) delivered the note to the White House at 5:15 p.m.
  2. As our exchanges in the end of January this year showed. [Footnote is in the original.]
  3. See Document 269.